The Anonymous Us Project is a safety zone for real and honest insights regarding third party reproduction (sperm & egg donation, and surrogacy). We aim to share the experiences of voluntary and involuntary participants in these new reproductive technologies, while preserving the dignity and privacy for story-tellers and their loved ones. All stories are contributed anonymously because "anonymity in reproduction hides the truth, but anonymity in story-telling helps reveal the truth." Read More
I too have been quietly reading the posts on this site for about 2 years. The stories worry me because I have a son by ds who is now almost 4yo. I can't get them out of my mind.
I have never before felt compelled to post on this site, however.
Firstly, there have been many times when I too have wondered if certain posts were real - but not whether the 'pro-industry' ones were written by truely 'pro-industry' people but rather by people that are anti-donation. I have wondered this when I see comments that appear so clumsilily invalidating or insensitive to dc people that they are clearly hurtful and would do more harm than good to the 'industry'. If there is big business behind these posts surely they would have the 'cash' to spend on getting more clever posts written?
And then some of the recent ones by dc people who you think are "overjoyed" (if I am guessing the right ones you mean) to me seem a little bit uncertain - e.g. recent one where what is likely to be a young man (called 'Kevin') remarks at the end of his positive post that he won't be donating himself. And I am not sure what you mean by 'girly british'. I have scoured these posts again looking for evidence of a pattern in the style of writing and I see in posts on BOTH 'sides' 1/ writing that is mature, jargonistic and what you call "professional" (ironically, it is the 'professional' stuff you think is NOT from industry?) that I would give the benefit of the doubt to as being from older people who have read and been around the topic a lot and 2/ writing that is less well constructed and more youthful and spontaneous. I think it is ironically invalidating to write that these posts just can't be real. Any of the posts here may be fake - not just the ones that you don't agree with. And we do get the internet on this side of the pond!!
Secondly, there is nothing suspicious about contrary posts appearing soon after eachother. Exactly as I am answering your post now after a long time of never posting, people will be spurred to post when they feel they need to reply or give their own contrary view.
Thirdly, there is nothing suspicious about people finding this website - it is the first one that comes up on google in my country when you type in "donor conceived" (and yes, I did try from a computer I haven't read this website from before). There is also nothing suspect about dc people being curious about donor conception and their origins despite not having negative feelings about it. Look at the raw data from the 'my daddy's name is donor' study. What that shows is that a majority feel they have a right to information and that a majority feel ok about their origins - this leaves a large number of people who both feel ok but are at least curious about being donor conceived.
Fourthly, if there was really a campaign to post pro-industry stories surely there would be more of them? The balance (as compared to published studies - even the 'my daddy's name is donor' one) is very heavily tilted to the negative. Of course people who are suffering are more likely to post - but it is not surprising that others might also occasionally want to say something.
Lastly, I want to say that what does strike me also about your post are the facts that 1/ the website host has said in one of her podcasts that she does not want 'op-eds' or criticisms of other posters - yet that is exactly what your post and another recent post (re human rights) are. And your post has been given the 'top spot' on the front of the website by the host. I have avoided posting on this site until now because I didn't want ot tell my story (because I have been very uneasy, but am going to outline it now below) and only had 'op-ed' type things to say. So, trying to respect the ethos of this site, I posted on the host's own site. The post was a genuine question/criticism, whioh of course was never published (if I was being really paranoid I'd have noticed the conincidence of your post appearing very soon afterwards on this site) and 2/ that you mention that the host of this site is regularly 'attacked' - yet no-where is she attacked on this site and I can't find attacks elsewhere either - this leads me to wonder how you know all of this.
For the last year I have become preoccupied and unable to sleep as my son grows and having digested more and more of these stories over the last 2 years. I do not call myself a SM "by choice" as "choice" was not how it felt at the time. I do now realize that if I could have seen past my own grief at the loss of the relationship and the rapidly declining fertility that led me down the path I DID choose that I DID have a choice. I could have chosen to remain childless and gotten on with a different (emptier, for me) kind of life and would have survived it. Before I did it I found what I could on Pubmed and decided to travel to the UK because of the non-anonymity laws and other apsects of the HFEA regulations around 'donating' - infomration re siblings, non-payment, medical information etc.. I thought this would be enough. At each stage I asked my ex partner to change his mind, I thought he might. I have never thought of the 'donation' as being to anyone but me - my son does not have to be 'grateful' for his life and it was not 'a gift' or 'a donation' to him. I am wracked with mixed feelings of guilt and love and fear. I will have to try to make it work and validate whatever comes up for him each step of the way. I am beginning to realize that I will have to turn my back on reading websites like this because it is not going to help my son if I don't relax and lose the intense worry and preoccupation these stories are triggering. I think that I have a good grasp from reading these posts of what might happen (and what might not happen). I will have to be able to keep that in the back of my mind but respond to his reality and not live like we are in someone else's reality. Of course I was selfish - but that is between me and my son.
I am going to declare here that I do not like the tendency of a few people who are against donating to assume they understand what ALL dc people SHOULD feel and to assume they know what is in the minds of any or all parents who receive donations. And there are some who have been on both sides of the equation who are happy to totally invalidate other people.
It does also worry me that, in addition to his own, possibly negative, spontaneous and real reactions to his situation my son's reactions will be invalidated by strident people ON EITHER 'SIDE' who can't tolerate other people having their own points of view.
I've quietly observed this website for the past few years, and have written one story. Somewhere in the beginning of 2014, I've notice an odd trend. Some of these stories are well written emotional, educational and authentic sounding even if they do not fully disagree with the infertility industry itself. At the same time, some of them sound entirely fabricated an overenthusiastic about the industry.
I found these stories hard to fathom for many reasons.
The first one being if these children were overjoyed about their conception, with no drive or intention to find their donors, why would they be searching the internet about anything to do with anonymous donor conception in the first place? The website is kept from the mainstream, and is not advertised on television like other popular sites like dating websites or social networks. Heck the author of this website didn't even get to talk about it on a television interview like some website-creators too. So most children stumble on this site by accident, after typing in 'anonymous sperm donor' into their computer a couple of times.
The second reason would have to be the audience. The main authors are children who are looking for their anonymous parents, which explains the reason why they admit to stumbling on this website by mistake. Some had even used the site to find their parents, like the story 'Still On The Search'. The audience is mainly social parents who had or are going to plan to conceive with a donor, or donors themselves. Both Donors and social parents have criticized donor-conceived children for how they feel, in a similar fashion that the overenthusiastic cryo-children have. The message is a mantra, "You are the most wanted kids in the world because your life was someone's paycheck, you should be ashamed of yourself of making your social parents feel bad because parenting is mostly about making them happy, you and your donor made your buyers (I mean parents) happy, so you should be happy too."
The third reason is convenience. Two happy supportive stories about same-sex commercial sperm donning, both with a youthful girly British writing style, appear in a row after a lesbian conveniently wrote asking if she should use a co-parent or a donor. From what I have read from some posts on this website promoting co-parenting, Co-parents do not make industries money, but donors do. From what I've also observed, stories from children from same-sex families are entirely rare. Before the lesbian's inquisitive post, there were only two stories about children from lesbian parents. Both were several months apart from one another! Other than that, there has been no other stories from kids of lesbian parents, who used commercial sperm donning, but, two *in a row* with girly British writing styles conveniently appear after the lesbian's question?
In addition to this second reason, right after the most professionally written and most horrific stories that criticized the industry outright were conveniently happy stories of overjoyed children with the best parents in the world. These supposed cryo children adored their parents' decisions. Such stories even criticized other cryo children and blamed them for their misery. Such stories had also encouraged social parents to support commercial sperm donning and lie to the children product. This can be seen in 'After reading some of the stories here, I completely understand why my parents did not tell me'.
Right after 'The Business of Humanity' directed at intended-parents and donors and said to them,
"To any potential donor my word would be, 'don't'. Please do not condone the practice of depriving children of their families. Because no matter how much anyone may want a baby, donor conception has been and will always be about the child. Because I am part of a generation of children that derive from billion dollar corporations commercializing life, corporations that sell human beings."
Was the story 'To: Parents of Donor Conceived or those thinking about it', which had encouraged parents to in essence to do whatever they please and however the child reacts is simply the child's responsibility. The message was that a parent should not live their lives considering their children because it's too stressful for the parents. This entry had also promoted the idea of donor conception to be surprising, fun and exciting. And promoted that donor children should be thankful that they made their parents happy, which is their life's worth, apparently.
After the two stories, 'Ambiguity of Identity' which wrote about the unfairness and emotional suffering about looking for a lost donor, and the story 'I Don't Want To Meet Him, Sorry' that spoke passionately about how the donning industry treats the donors like breeding studs, objectifies children, create public health problems, and is unregulated, was the story 'Identity'. Not only did the story match the previous story ['I Don't Want To Meet Him, Sorry'] in content (*both* these women conveniently did not want to meet their donors) both *ironically had polarized views of donor conception. In 'I Don't Want To Meet Him, Sorry' the cryo child did not want to meet her father because he objectified women in pornography, abandoned and disowned his children for money, and help to commodify her conception. In 'Identity', the cryo child did not want to meet her donor because she denies him being part of her heritage. She is completely supportive of her parents decisions, and as 'To: Parents of Donor Conceived or those thinking about it', is completely happy she could make her parents happy. Again I ask, if such a child is so happy about her circumstances and has no desire to meet her donor, and is perfect advertising success story that these fertility companies love to use for propaganda, why on earth is she online searching anything to do with anonymous donor conception in the first place?
There are plenty more coincidences, one of the most recent one was how 'I am a new breed of bastard' and 'All men are created equal endowed with rights by their creator' was followed by the story 'The Truth Revealed' that like 'Identity' and many other stories that are the infertility industry propaganda's tools, lectured and criticized other donor conceived children and cried the same mantra of "be happy because you made your parents happy". What I found most interesting about the latest questionable story 'The Truth Revealed' was when the author had wrote in quote,
"Before I wrote this post, I read the comments/stories above me"
I suppose the author had been here a couple of times, if she had read comments and stories above hers�
One must wonder, are these *the children who are truly overenthusiastic about an industry that commercialized their lives, that endorsed in their parents taking their biological parents away from them without their consent, and encouraged their parents to lie to them, or are these the social parents or even members of the industry itself forging these stories to give out a false message?
If the Infertility Industry wasn't a multi-billion dollar corporation, and if their clientele weren't extremely desperate (and sometimes, incredible selfish) people who have a tendency to attack the creator of this website on the frequent basis, I wouldn't be this highly skeptical. But since such circumstances exist, and this website is viewed by many of the industry's clientele (and perhaps the industry itself), I am very skeptical.
If you are potential author who is not donor conceived please do not impersonate a donor-conceived person to promote your personal stance on this extremely complicated issue. This website is supposed to be honest and sincere. It is supposed to get across the true feelings of those who are product of this industry, not those who profit from this industry, or who have personal gain from this industry.